I see we have a few new members and I was wondering if they know what they are getting into. So here is a re-cap of my latest disaster.
Our local range is a small affair, 2 short range and one long range allies.It does see pretty heavy use since it is free and open to the public. The local police also train and certify here and they really spray some lead. So I first made a screen out of hardware cloth and scrap lumber and nails from my collection of used nails screws and bolts. I have a small shovel that I carry in the pick up and an old ammo case. All set. I burned 2-3 gallons of gas going to and from the range. I only spent an hour or so shoveling and sifting sand and other things away from the valuable lead. Doesn't sound bad but I have debilitating arthritis and all the up and down and sitting on the steep pile of sand wore me out completely in that time. My goal was to fill the ammo can which I did. I spent some time wondering where all the blood came from all over my hand and dripping on the ground. I finally found a pin-prick of a hole on my thumb probably from the hardware cloth ends. Must of hit a vein. Anyway I got that stopped and went to pick up the ammo can. Couldn't do it. I'm still getting over the double newmoanyeh from last winter and my strength is still gone. So I went and got my shooting gear cart that has wheels, and was able to pick up the box, just could'nt walk very far with it,and put it in the cart. When I got home I wanted to know how much my bounty weighed, 71 lbs on the bathroom scale. The next step is to render all that junk into clean lead. I have an old turkey cooker re-purposed to my lead pot heater upper, along with an old sheet iron skillet I started smelting a pan full of used bullets and assorted junk. The smoke that came off that mess was some of the worst I have smelled so I got out my respirator(good move) that is rated for lead vapor, could't smell anything with it on so I think I was safe. 2 hours later of melt-ladle lead into ingot mold-add more bullets work I was done and thuroughly exhausted. All that labor produced 30 1lb ingots. Less than half. My advice- buy your lead. Especially if you are one of us septagenarians or worse.
I'll probably do it again.